Myrtle Beach International Airport, also referred to as MYR Airport, is located three miles southwest of Myrtle Beach, Horry County, South Carolina, U.S. Formerly, it was known as Myrtle Beach Jetport until 1989. The airport is on the site of former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, including the Market Common shopping building.
The FAA National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems categorized Myrtle airport as a small-hub commercial, primary service facility since 2007.
With over 2.4 million passengers in 2018, Myrtle Beach has the second-busiest airport in South Carolina behind Charleston.
Interestingly, Myrtle Beach International Airport did not have an official website until 2006. Until then, the airport website was created and run by the employee. MYR administration redesigned the site with a new logo.
History of The Airport
Myrtle Beach International Airport and its terminal were built in 1975 and officially opened in 1976. Joint management of Myrtle Beach, Air Force Base, was first recognized in 1955. An agreement among the City of Myrtle Beach and the U.S. Department of Defense was signed on April 20, 1977. This agreement incorporated the area of Myrtle Beach Airport into the city. Both MYR and Myrtle Beach AFB collectively used the main runway until 1993, this severely restrained civil operation to 30 landings a day, leading to a local business movement to build an entirely new airport.
The airport was served by Delta and Eastern commuter aircraft and Piedmont Airlines mainline aircraft in the 80s.
The Air Force closed the base in 1993 as a result of the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The Air Force returned the runway and other parts of the former military flight line over to the Horry County Department of Airports.
In the early 90s, American Eagle became a primary carrier at MYR. It operated multiple everyday flights with ATR 72 to the American Airlines hub at Raleigh–Durham Airport. This route accounted for 12% of the airport's passenger traffic by late 1994. American then suddenly ended its American Eagle hub at Raleigh–Durham in December 1994 and canceled all flights to MYR and other airports in the region. In 2010 American Eagle returned to Myrtle Beach with seasonal service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Myrtle Beach Airport became an international airport on April 1, 1996, and a new international terminal had opened on August 21 of that same year.
Hooters Air had its central hub in Myrtle Beach International Airport from 2003 until 2006. In an attempt to relocate its running base from Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, MYR Airport reduced the price on hangar space along with other undisclosed benefits to Hooters Air operator Pace Airlines. Still, Pace decided to keep its base in Winston-Salem. AirTran Airways ended its service to Atlanta in 2006. It was one of the largest airlines serving Myrtle Beach International at that time. From 2007 until 2012, Direct Air operated with several airports, connecting them to Myrtle Beach International Airport, but suddenly it filed for bankruptcy and ceased all operations. This failure caused a drop in passenger traffic at Myrtle Beach, declining by 16% in 2012 but bounced back a year later. Horry County gave a revenue guarantee to WestJet to began its servicing for Toronto in summer 2013. Still, its passenger numbers were lower than expected, which forced the county to pay WestJet around $570,000. The airport also served as the selected launch abort site for the Space Shuttles; however, it was never used.
The airport ordered two renovations to take place in the terminal building in 2008. Two years later, the FAA approved a $4.50 passenger facilities charge on all tickets to and from Myrtle Beach International Airport to clear part of the cost for the terminal upgrade.
From 2017 to 2018, MYR airport had 121,867 aircraft operations, averaging 334 per day. The airport's top destinations are Charlotte, North Caroline, with more than 200 thousand passengers in a year and Atlanta, Georgia, with 147 thousand passengers.